Harwell, Jin receive Emerald Research Grants for business reference research

Contact: Liz Markel
Marketing Specialist, RUSA/ASCLA
(312) 280-4398

For Immediate Release
April 27, 2010

CHICAGO—Kevin Harwell, associate librarian at Schreyer Business Library, Pennsylvania State University, and Tao Jin, assistant professor at the School of Library and Information Science, Louisiana State University, are the 2010 recipients of the BRASS Emerald Research Grants.

These grants, administered by the Business Reference and Services Section (BRASS) of the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) and generously supposed by Emerald Group Publishing, Inc., provide $5,000 to each winner in support of proposed research in the field of business reference. Harwell’s and Jin’s research proposals represent diverse but equally important questions for the business reference profession—one focusing on work environments and job satisfaction, the other on gaining valuable information about a previously unexplored segment of the patron population.

Harwell’s research proposal will uncover the impact of business librarianship’s demands on both public and academic library professionals on their rate of burnout and level of job engagement. Harwell cites the wide variety of necessary skills, the information needs of businesspersons, students and researchers, and the need of precision and promptness in responding to queries as unique attributes of business librarianship, and factors that warrant special study. Jin’s proposal will uncover the information seeking behaviors of microenterprise owners—a group of business information consumers about whom relatively nothing is known. The results of Jin’s study will create a solid knowledge base about this group, and ultimately allow business librarians to design information services that will help them survive and thrive.

Jennifer C. Boettcher, chair of the award committee, praised the importance of both of these research proposals for the business librarian profession: “The committee hopes that Mr. Harwell’s research will establish credibility for our professional plight, and also lead to better work environments for academic and public business librarians. Dr. Jin’s research will also be extremely beneficial to the profession, providing information that will inform the creation of effective service models to benefit the community.”

Eileen Breen, publisher at Emerald, commented, “Once again, the research projects selected by BRASS to receive the Emerald Research Grants promise to offer valuable benefits and timely insight into the business librarian profession. Emerald is delighted to support research that serves information professionals and increase the body of knowledge in such meaningful ways.”

Both Harwell and Jin will be recognized at the RUSA Awards Ceremony and Reception, scheduled for 4-6 p.m., Monday, June 28, in Washington, D.C. as a part of ALA’s Annual Conference events. The exact location of this event will be announced on the RUSA website and at the RUSA Blog in late spring.

Established in 1967, Emerald Group Publishing Inc. is the world’s leading publisher of management research.  In total, Emerald publishes over 700 titles, comprising 200 journals, over 300 books and more than 200 series and serials as well as an extensive range of online products and services.  Emerald is COUNTER3-compliant, meeting the international code of practice for reports that measure usage of online information products and services consistently. Emerald’s publishing philosophy is “Research you can use”, which means that our content is both rigorous and relevant, connecting the academic world with the world of management practice. The Emerald online collection of journals, abstracts and resources, Emerald Management Plus, serves business schools and management departments world-wide. For managers in corporate and public organizations, Emerald Management First provides fast access to applied research, ideas, insights and interviews from the world’s best management thinkers.

The Reference and User Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, represents librarians and library staff in the fields of reference, specialized reference, collection development, readers advisory and resource sharing. RUSA is the foremost organization of reference and information professionals who make the connections between people and the information sources, services, and collection materials they need.  For more information, visit www.ala.org/rusa. Not a RUSA member, but  interested in discounted registration rates on conference, RUSA preconferences and other RUSA events? Join, renew or add RUSA to your ALA membership at www.ala.org/membership.